Meal Plan

Meal Plan

Food and Nutrition are an intrinsic part of what keeps us going. Some of us ‘eat to live’ while others ‘live to eat’! The problem, unfortunately with the latter, is that it starts showing on our body and the weighing scale fairly rapidly.

All leading medical professionals and nutritionists are unanimous in saying that eating abundant ‘empty calories’ in the form of junk and processed foods has a direct relationship to our health. Excessive fat around the abdomen leads to obesity that in turn leads to lifestyle disorders like Diabetes and Heart Problems … even Cancer.

With the help of a leading panel of experts from around the world, we have curated content and meal plans for Diabetes and Weight Loss. We wish you luck and hope these plans help you. But remember you should always seek a dietician’s advice to put together a plan that works best for you.

Food facts on starchy food 

Minimize the intake of white bread; as it is high in calories and carbs, but low in fiber, protein and nutrients. The simple starches in bread are digested so quickly that they spike your glucose levels just like sugar — and leave you hungry soon afterward. So these foods should be avoided to prevent weight gain and other health concerns like diabetes.

Limit white rice as they are less in fiber and protein but simply are loaded with empty calories. White rice is quickly digested and absorbed, making your blood sugar rise faster. White rice should be avoided if you are diagnosed with prediabetes or if your family has a history of diabetes. If rice is your staple diet try replacing it with brown rice as they are healthier and has more nutrition benefits.

Skinless white potatoes have a very high glycemic index — meaning they raise your blood sugar quickly. So, however you like your potatoes, try to incorporate their skin. The skin’s fiber will slow your digestion and keep you full longer. (You’ll benefit from potatoes’ potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C, too). Try making mashed potatoes with the skin on.

Avoid processed cereals like maida as they are starchier. The more processed a grain is the more unhealthy and calorie leaden it is. Try to consume cereals which have a bigger grain size. Just for an instance atta is more nutritious and healthier than maida. Gram flour is healthier than besan.

Pasta and chips are high in starch which is digested quickly and are low in essential nutrients. You can try for a whole wheat pasta or bean pastas. Their fiber will leave you feeling full for longer. If you want to enjoy crackers, choose whole-grain varieties. Look for brands with minimal added sugar and ingredients.

Healthy food in winters

Root vegetables like beets, carrots and turnips grow in plenty during winter season. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that has exceptional health benefits to your body. Vitamin C helps can help in boosting your immunity and vitamin A is good for eye health.

Oatmeal is much more than just a convenient breakfast food; it also provides nutrients that are essential during winter. Oatmeal is high in zinc (important for proper immune function) and soluble fiber. Having an oatmeal breakfast with nuts provides you with essential nutrients and energy during winters.

Mixed vegetable or chicken soup is winter’s perfect food. But soup with minimal amount of cream and salt is more beneficial. Pair your soup with a side of 100 percent whole grain crackers. Homemade soups are the best as they are low in calories and are full of essential micronutrients that are good for health.

Cold and flu are common in winters, to prevent risk eat lots of cruciferous vegetables that boosts your defense system in winters. Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in vitamin C, which is associated with enhanced immune function. Try to buy and consume fresh broccoli and cauliflower.

Fish like salmon or tuna are good sources of vitamin D. During the winter months, when you have limited exposure to the sun, food sources containing high amounts of Vitamin D are more essential for daily intake. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired growth, weakening of the bones and even the risk of heart disease. So having fish has great effects on our body during winters.

How well do you know your food?

Did you know – Vegetarian diets that include proteins from legumes, soy, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables can easily meet your protein requirements.

Did you know – Whole grains are high in fiber content, low in fat, and rich in vitamin E, iron, selenium, zinc and B-complex vitamins. Eating and buying them is one of the healthiest choices you can make for yourself and your family.

Did you know – Fish is rich in Omega-fatty acids. Experts suggest that frequent consumption of fish helps protect against several chronic diseases like diabetes. Mackerel fish is both cheaper and healthier which is readily available in market for consumption.

Did you know – A balanced diet contains different types of foods (from all food groups) in such quantities and proportions that the need for all the nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber are adequately met.

Foods rich in proteins and their benefits

Seafood is an excellent source of protein and it’s usually low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat, but it is the heart-healthy as it has omega-3 fatty acids.

One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of boiled chicken. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.

Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt excellent sources of protein, but they also contain valuable calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. Skim or low-fat dairy helps to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.

Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day. Eggs can be safely consumed through out the year.

Experts say fifty grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol by about 3%. Eating soy protein is also good for your heart health.

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Food

childhood obesity symptoms

Childhood obesity is becoming common these days. Eating unhealthy and less nutritious food is a major contributing factor. India has the second largest number of obese children in the world and it is estimated that by 2025 this number is estimated to grow by 70 million. On one hand many children in our country are deprived of right amounts of foods, on the other hand some children are facing obesity as a major concern.

According to Mona – “Childhood obesity results primarily due to limited or no outdoor activity, high calorie intake and irregular eating habits of children.”

In Indian society a chubby child is regarded as healthy. Whereas a chubby child does not mean that the child is healthy.

Childhood Obesity Complications

Childhood obesity can lead to serious complications such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure

Mona says- “Childhood obesity is not a result of genetics, whereas it is actually a result of parent’s behavior, if parents are eating unhealthy the child will mimic the same and ultimately becomes obese as his/her parent.”

Right Food for Obese Children

  • Pay attention to breakfast-A poor breakfast affects child’s concentration and results in poor performance especially in schools. Feed the child early with well balanced foods which includes proteins, complex carbohydrates.

Mona does not recommend low fat food in children as the process of making a low fat food involves extracting the fat content and replacing it with refined carbohydrates to make it palatable. Refined carbohydrates are bad for the health and causes obesity.

  • Moderation is the key-Whenever you take your child food. Moderation is the key make the child eat in small portions and feed his with a small snack, preferably with nuts, so that the child eats in small amounts.
  • Macro balanced diet- Child’s diet must contain a rich supply of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which makes a healthy macro balanced diet.

Mona says- “Combine the foods to make it more nutritious and healthy. Example-If you are giving aloo parantha to child club it with yogurt and butter to make it more nutritious. Instead, try giving a vegetable parantha like gobhi or mooli parantha.”

  • Sit with your child and ask for his preferences – It helps the child to be involved. Suggest him with healthy options. Educate him about the right food.

Food During Exams

As parents we feed the child with whatever food he/she asks for especially during the exam time. Mona says -It is important to replace high carbohydrate food with foods rich in phytonutrients, omega- 3 fatty foods, extra virgin olive oil, and antioxidants.

These foods supplement optimum nutrition and improve the performance of the child. Foods high in carbohydrates kill gut micro biome.

Value of Rainbow Food

Mona suggests eating rainbow foods at an early age to all children. This includes eating different colored fresh fruits and vegetables. This supplies children with essential phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Eating unprocessed foods, fatty fish (a rich source of omega-3), and cereals aids healthy nutrition in children

Power Food-Simple and Easy Early Breakfast Recipe

Berry smoothie- Make simple smoothie which contains flax seeds, berries, yogurt and little bit of honey. This is an ideal food for kids, as it contains good combination of macros.

Foods to Completely Avoid

Below is the list of some foods which are to be completely avoided 

  • Cold drinks
  • Packed foods
  • Processed foods

Foods to be Given to Children in Moderation

  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Pastries

Food Essential for Growth and Development

Mona says- “Calcium is one mineral essential during early development years. Maximum calcium requirement is there during 9-18 years of age. 1000 mg/day is the essential requirement of the child during this phase.”

Foods rich in calcium are

  • Dairy
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Almonds

To read more on Obesity, click on the link below.

https://famhealth.in/infocus-detail/obesity

Diabetes-Friendly Grocery Shopping Items by Famhealth

Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping Items

Going for grocery shopping for yourself or your loved one? Take a look at the nutritive items you must bring home and stock up your Frigidaire. Besides nutrient content, the glycemic index (GI) of a food may also help you make healthy choices. The GI measures how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, while high GI foods have a score of 70 or more. In general, lower GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes. Foods that are both nutritious and have a low GI are helpful in managing health and blood glucose levels.

Keeping the Indian supermarket in mind we bring together some easily available items extremely beneficial for you health.

Here’s your guide:

Starchy foods:

Starchy foods are always referred Carbohydrate rich foods. This category stands very important as it provides energy to the body to perform vital actions. Whenever you are going to the supermarket next for grocery shopping make sure, a good portion of your cart contains items from this category. So, we bring you some healthy options which can help you to shop quickly. Of course the options given below are not the only options you may choose, but incorporating some or all into your diabetes meal plan may help you and partner improve the overall health. 

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole-Grain Bread/ Flour

Non-Starchy

This category of veggies goes a long way in satisfying your hunger and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals. They are the lowest in calories and carbohydrates. Non starchy vegetables are highly recommended by dieticians around the globe for weight loss and diabetes management.

Here are some non-starchy veggies you may wish to bring home today.

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Brinjal
  • Red peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Lettuce

Fruits

You may choose to add non starchy low glycaemic index fruits in all your meals and snacks. They contain natural fructose which may act as a dessert after meals to satisfy your taste buds.  According American Diabetes Association guidelines, at least 4-5 servings of fruits needs to be consumed daily by people living with diabetes. They nourish the body with plenty of vitamins and fibres.

These are some options you may choose to shop today.

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Star fruit
  • Papaya

Dairy products

ADA recommends, we should include dairy products as a part of our healthy diet, as they are high in both protein and calcium.  Evidence till date suggests, that milk product consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes. So, we are sharing a list of milk products you may wish to add in your cart. But it’s advisable to check on fats while consuming milk products.

Here are some healthy options.

  • Low fat Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter milk
  • Unsweetened lassi
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Protein containing products

You may choose to include a variety of protein-rich foods in your diabetes meal plan.  Proteins are derived from both animals and plant origin, which are very essential for the repair and growth of human body. As you already know protein also provides energy and is an excellent source of macro nutrient known as the “building blocks of life”.

Here are some healthy choices; you may wish to take home today.

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Nuts

Nuts and Seeds

Research conducted in Louisiana State University found, that people who regularly consumed nuts have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes. So, next time, you crave for foods high in sugar and fat, you have healthier options and can choose to munch on some assorted nuts. It can be an excellent snack option as well, such as pumpkin seeds known to deliver taste and crunch, or peanuts and other seeds which are rich in protein, fibre, and good fats. They’re also a source of magnesium, a mineral that’s key to blood-sugar control because it helps cells use insulin. So, on the basis of their great benefits, we are recommending you these

  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Musk melon seeds

Oils and Fats

As you may already know, oils and fats are also a very essential part of our diet, as it provides nourishment and a major chunk of cooking is done with them. Oils and fats are a good source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is true that all fats are high in calories, so it is important to watch portion sizes you are consuming. But a smarter way can be adopted by opting for unsaturated healthy fats than saturated and Trans fats, while substituting the healthy fats in their place. 

Here’s a small list of Cooking oil and fats.

  • Mustard oil
  • Soya bean oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Low fat butter
  • Margarine
  • Peanut butter
  • Ricotta cheese.

Herbs and Spices

The herbs and spices from our Indian sub-continent seem to be the most explored and active component in maintaining blood glucose levels.  A number of research and studies are being conducted to support this theory.

Let us find the essential spices and herbs one must have in their kitchen

  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • And other salt free spices
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Beverages

As you may already know, if you are having diabetes, doctors recommend that you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink specially canned or packaged drinks which contain hidden sugars. So to prevent spiking in the blood sugar levels, American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends choosing zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks.

Here are some options which may benefit you while consuming beverages.

  • Water (unflavoured or flavoured sparkling water)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Sugar-free fruit juice
  • Low-fat milk

Snacks

Who doesn’t love snacks?  Everyone loves to much on snacks in between meals; there are lots of healthy choices that can be used as snack foods.  As you may already know, while taking medications you are advised to snack in between meals to avoid low blood sugar levels.

So we bring together some quick readymade snacks you can directly pick from the super market.

  • Popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Fruits (as mentioned above)

Remember this list is not exhaustive you may pick and choose other food items as well, according to their Glycaemic Index. This list is quick shopping guide keeping the Indian market in mind.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Eating Strategies for Weight Loss & Diabetes by Famhealth

7 Smart Eating Strategies To Lose Weight And Reverse Diabetes

Eating Strategies for Weight Loss & Diabetes by Famhealth. 7 Smart Eating Strategies To Lose Weight And Reverse Diabetes

1. Keep a Diary:

One of the smartest ways to begin with, is to record what you are eating throughout the day. Leading dieticians all-round the globe recommends maintaining your own small diary, to keep a check and analyse the food items you are consuming. Studies in the U.K confirm, people who maintained food records lost extra amount of weight, than people who didn’t record.

2. Watch your food labels:

Picking up a fruit juice can? Or your favourite soft drink? You’re advised to read the nutritive label. Knowing the calorie content and glycaemic index can get a little cumbersome, but research suggests, awareness of the calorie content and high sugar levels help people living with diabetes in keeping away from harmful food items which may spike their blood glucose levels.

3. Start with a good breakfast:

Research is on our side, starting the day with a good breakfast powers you with high energy and helps you maintaining your blood glucose levels throughout the day. The old saying “breakfast like a king” stands correct if you choose low carb breads & cereals, fresh juices, boiled eggs, nuts, oats, yogurt, cheese, milk and not to forget your medicines.

4. Eat by the plate method

Eating by the plate method advocated by ADA recommends, filling half of your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables, one fourth of your plate with lean proteins like grilled fish or chicken and the balance with low carbs. This is a popular model which not only aids in weight loss, but also keeps the blood glucose levels on check.

5. Carb counting

Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is not a diet plan, it is a meal planning strategy for people with type 1 or type-2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day.

Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks and it is very important.      Completely cutting down on carbs may lead to fatigue and restlessness. One must choose wisely and replace with diabetes friendly and healthy low carbs.

According to National Institute of Health USA, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are vital part of a healthy eating plan because they provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and most importantly fibre. Fibre can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight.

Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients and they often spike your blood glucose levels leading to poor diabetes management.

6. Eat more small meals

People with diabetes should eat 4-5 small meals during the day instead of three larger meals, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Eating small meals allows replenishment along with slower, continuous absorption of food, which prevents you from cravings and hunger pangs. Among the benefits are also decreased blood sugar levels after meals, reduced insulin requirements during the course of the day, weight loss and lower blood cholesterol.
 

7. Always stock up your refrigerator:

Stocking up your refrigerator with healthy food items is more or less like keeping your supplies ready. This prevents you from eating high calorie and sugary food items in times of hunger. You may choose from a wide variety of fruits, nuts, cheese, and low carb multigrain breads and protein shakes to quickly make minimeals and avoid binging.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Self measures to prevent diabetes by Famhealth

Self measures to prevent diabetes

Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.

Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.

There is convincing evidence that diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes, whereas diets rich in refined carbohydrates lead to increased risk of diabetes.

Like refined grains, sugary beverages have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of this sugary stuff is associated with increased risk of diabetes.

The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds can help ward off type 2 diabetes.

To read more on diabetes, click on the link below:

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Diabetes food

Diabetes excercise 

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